Habitat Conservation Plan: Activities Covered by Permit

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Activities Covered by Permit

Activities to be covered by the City of Tucson HCP Permit include any activities carried out by, or authorized by, the City on covered lands (i.e., the Permit Area identified in Section 1.3). These activities consist of residential, commercial, and industrial development within the City boundaries; Tucson Water Department development activities; capital improvement projects, including widening or resurfacing of existing roads; and construction of new roads, bridges, trails and parks. Maintenance activities associated with public infrastructure and HCP implementation activities also will be covered.

2.1 Development Projections

A range of development activities is planned in the three City of Tucson planning sub-areas over the
next 50 years or more. In the Southlands planning sub-area, residential, commercial, and industrial development is anticipated. In the Avra Valley planning sub-area, portions of 21,596 acres
(8,740 hectares) of City-owned lands will be used for future City water development projects. In the Santa Cruz River planning sub-area, the feasibility of restoration projects is currently being evaluated by the USACE and various local jurisdictions. These potential projects may impact species covered in this HCP. The regional context for these three planning sub-areas is provided in Figure 2.1-1.

The spatial distribution of these planned land uses is tied to current resource conditions. The resource conditions vary greatly within the different City HCP planning sub-areas. The Southlands planning sub-area includes large areas of undeveloped land with predominately native vegetation and ephemeral washes and areas of high sheet flow with associated xeroriparian habitat. The Avra Valley planning sub-area lands are largely disturbed former agricultural lands, ephemeral washes with associated xeroriparian habitat, and some undeveloped land with native vegetation. The Santa Cruz River planning sub-area lands include the channel and adjacent floodplain of the Santa Cruz River, much of which is highly degraded.

The City of Tucson General Plan identifies the Southlands planning sub-area as the Future City Growth Area, to be developed according to the Desert Village development model. The Desert Village model envisions the area to be developed with a series of large master planned communities. A master planned community typically consists of a cluster of villages with a sufficient population base to support community-scale civic and commercial services located within a town center.
Each planned community should have a discreet identity defined by its context, a system of continuous open space, architectural design themes, or other distinguishing features. The land use mix within the overall planned community should promote a high degree of self-sufficiency.

The fundamental components of the Desert Village model are:

• A variety of housing types and densities, which offer both affordability and livability.

• A mix of uses within a compact development pattern, which integrates places for people to live, work, shop, and play within a cohesive system of neighborhoods and village and town centers.

• A transportation and circulation system that offers residents alternatives for mobility, giving high priority to pedestrian, bicycle, and transit modes.

Figure 2.1-1. Context for the City of Tucson HCP Planning Sub-areas.

• A regional open space system that preserves washes and environmentally sensitive areas as passive open space amenities, and offers active recreational opportunities such as trails and developed parks.

• A long-term, phased approach to development, in order to provide for increased efficiency of infrastructure and services for residents.

The General Plan anticipates urban intensity development for the Southlands planning sub-area. Residential densities are projected to be at minimum four (4) residences per acre (RAC) for single-family neighborhoods. This can be characterized as moderate intensity development. Activity nodes— neighborhood centers, village centers and town centers—will incorporate a mix of commercial, office, service, and residential uses (minimum eight (8) RAC), and are considered to be high intensity use areas. Low intensity uses, such as less than one (1) RAC residential densities, may occur where localized environmental conditions warrant the lower intensity of use. Other low intensity land use categories include vacant/undeveloped properties, mitigation lands, natural resource parks, and floodplain zones.

A number of land use and infrastructure planning efforts will allow for the refinement of development projects for the Southlands.

The City is currently updating its Major Streets and Routes (MSR) Plan to include the Southlands planning sub-area. The Southlands arterial network has been conceptualized in the Southeast Area Arterial Study, completed under the umbrella of the Pima Association of Governments (PAG) in 2005.

The Pima County Regional Flood Control District (RFCD) will launch the Lee Moore Wash Basin Management Study in 2006. The study area includes all of the Southlands planning sub-area, plus a significant portion of the land adjacent to the sub-area. This study is designed to provide a comprehensive flood control program and a multi-objective approach to managing the watersheds, floodplains and other resources within the study area.

The Arizona State Land Department (ASLD), the principal land manager within the Southlands planning sub-area, is refining its development suitability analysis of the Southlands, completed in 2001, in preparation for developing a conceptual land use plan for its holdings. The ASLD, City, and Pima County are working toward a multi-jurisdictional land use planning process for an area that would include all of the Southlands and the area bordered by Interstate 19 (I-19) on the west, (I-10 on the north, State Route 83 on the east and the Santa Rita Experimental Range on the south.

This HCP covers all activities undertaken during the normal process of residential, commercial, and industrial land development. These activities include:

• Pre-construction clearance surveys for natural and cultural resources;

• Clearing, grubbing, grading, and other land disturbance activities necessary to construct buildings, parks, utilities, roads, trails, and all other associated infrastructure located within the Permit planning area;

• Noise and disturbance resulting from the construction of these structures or facilities; and

• Long-term indirect impacts to protected areas from urban development, including threats due to domestic animals and invasive species, habitat fragmentation, increased barriers to wildlife movement due to more roads and higher traffic volumes, and human intrusions (e.g., off-road vehicles).

2.2 Capital Improvement Projects

Growth in population, housing, and employment opportunities in the Southlands during the next 50 years will bring about the need for increased public infrastructure. City of Tucson will provide new roads, road improvements, and parks, trails, and other recreation opportunities necessary to support the growing community. Most utility services in the City are provided by other entities, with the exception of water, which is provided by Tucson Water Department. Sewer service is provided by Pima County, and power and gas by private companies. Future expansion of water services will be addressed in this HCP; however, the expansion of other utilities will not be covered in this HCP. Capital improvement projects that will be implemented by the City and covered by this HCP consist of:

• Road construction and improvement;

• Public water infrastructure;

• Parks and trails; and

• Maintenance of these facilities.

2.2.1 Road Construction and Improvement

The 2001–2025 Transportation Plan Update for the City of Tucson identifies 142 miles (229 kilometers) of public road projects planned for the next 20 years. In addition to the construction of new roads, these projects include improvements to existing roads. Table 2.2-1 lists the number and extent of anticipated road projects according to type. Major streets and routes in the Southlands are depicted in Figure 2.2-1. Descriptions of each of the road construction and improvement activities are provided below.

Road Resurfacing

Road resurfacing generally consists of milling the existing surface, adding a new asphalt driving surface, signing, and striping. Resurfacing projects can be accomplished at a rate of 0.1 miles
(0.16 kilometers) per day with a crew of approximately six. All activities associated with road resurfacing are restricted to currently disturbed areas. Projects may include adding paved shoulders where none currently exist. If shoulders were added to an existing roadway, they would generally be from 5 to 8 feet (1.5 to 2.4 meters) in width. The shoulders would be added in existing graded areas so that no disturbance to potential habitat would occur.

Road Widening

Road widening generally consists of excavation and embankment creation, importing or exporting embankment material, minor changes in horizontal and vertical alignment, drainage improvements, asphalt surfacing, signing, and striping. Other possible improvements include street lighting, traffic signal installations, and landscaping. A 1-mile (1.6-kilometer) roadway-widening project takes about 9 to 12 months. Crew sizes range from 25 to 30 at any one time. Staging areas are approved by the City and generally are in currently disturbed locations.

New Road Construction

New road construction generally consists of excavation and embankment creation, importing or exporting embankment material, drainage improvements, asphalt surfacing, signing, and striping where an existing roadway does not currently exist. Other possible improvements include street lighting, traffic signal installations, and landscaping. A 1-mile (1.6-kilometer) section of new road requires about 6 to 9 months to construct. Crew sizes range from 25 to 30 at any one time. Staging areas are approved by the City and usually are in currently disturbed locations.

Table 2.2-1. Covered Activities, Southlands Planning Sub-area Major Street and Routes

ID#

Class

Street Name

Cross Street A

Cross Street B

Length (feet)

1

Parkway (300-foot ROW)

Andrada Rd

Rita Rd

Houghton Rd

15,905

2

Parkway (300-foot ROW)

Andrada Rd

Wilmot Rd

Rita Rd

10,878

3

Arterial (150-foot ROW)

Country Club Rd

Pima Mine Rd

Dawn Rd

11,836

4

Arterial (150-foot ROW)

Country Club Rd

Dawn Rd

Old Vail Connection Rd

16,450

5

Arterial (150-foot ROW)

Dawn Rd

Swan Rd

Wilmot Rd

9,230

6

Arterial (150-foot ROW)

Dawn Rd

Wilmot/Kolb & Kolb Rd

Rita Rd

14,072

7

Arterial (150-foot ROW)

Dawn Rd

Wilmot Rd

Wilmot/Kolb & Kolb Rd

4,374

8

Arterial (150-foot ROW)

Dawn Rd

Nogales Hwy

Country Club Rd

5,901

9

Arterial (150-foot ROW)

Dawn Rd

Country Club Rd

Swan Rd

10,818

10

Arterial (150-foot ROW)

Dawn Rd

Houghton Rd

 

10,011

11

Parkway (150-foot ROW)

Houghton Rd

Dawn Rd

 

11,560

12

Arterial (150-foot ROW)

Houghton Rd

Andrada Rd

Pima Mine Rd

6,397

13

Parkway (150-foot ROW)

Houghton Rd

Pima Mine Rd

Dawn Rd

6,228

14

Parkway (300-foot ROW)

Kolb Rd

 

Old Vail Connection Rd

5,866

15

Parkway (300-foot ROW)

Kolb Rd

Old Vail Connection Rd

Dawn Rd & Wilmot/Kolb

20,107

16

Parkway (150-foot ROW)

Nogales Hwy

Old Vail Connection Rd

Dawn Rd

5,972

17

Arterial (150-foot ROW)

Old Vail Connection Rd

Country Club Rd

Nogales Hwy

5,695

18

Arterial (150-foot ROW)

Old Vail Connection Rd

Swan Rd & Swan/Alvernon

Country Club Rd

6,121

19

Arterial (150-foot ROW)

Old Vail Connection Rd

Rita Rd

Kolb Rd

11,860

20

Arterial (150-foot ROW)

Old Vail Connection Rd

Kolb Rd

Wilmot Rd

3,617

21

Arterial (150-foot ROW)

Old Vail Connection Rd

Wilmot Rd

Swan Rd & Swan/Alvernon

5,927

22

Arterial (150-foot ROW)

Old Vail Connection Rd

Old Vail Connection Rd

Rita Rd

2,541

23

Arterial (150-foot ROW)

Pima Mine Rd

Houghton Rd

Rita Rd

12,187

24

Arterial (150-foot ROW)

Pima Mine Rd

Wilmot Rd & Wilmot/Kolb

Swan Rd

7,654

25

Arterial (150-foot ROW)

Pima Mine Rd

Rita Rd

Wilmot Rd & Wilmot/Kolb

14,677

26

Arterial (150-foot ROW)

Pima Mine Rd

Country Club Rd

Nogales Hwy

2,909

27

Arterial (150-foot ROW)

Rita Rd

Pima Mine Rd

Dawn Rd

10,800

28

Arterial (150-foot ROW)

Rita Rd

Dawn Rd

Old Vail Connection Rd

16,107

29

Arterial (150-foot ROW)

Rita Rd

Andrada Rd

Pima Mine Rd

6,628

30

Parkway (150-foot ROW)

Swan Rd

Pima Mine Rd

Dawn Rd

11,177

31

Arterial (150-foot ROW)

Wilmot Rd

Dawn Rd

Old Vail Connection Rd

17,368

32

Arterial (150-foot ROW)

Wilmot Rd

Old Vail Connection Rd

 

6,864

33

Parkway (300-foot ROW)

Wilmot Rd

Wilmot/Kolb & Pima Mine Rd

Andrada Rd

3,777

34

Parkway (300-foot ROW)

Wilmot/Kolb

Kolb Rd & Dawn Rd

Pima Mine Rd & Wilmot Rd

9,114

Figure 2.2-1. Covered Activities, Southlands Sub-area Major Streets and R outes.

Bridge Construction Over Water Ways

Bridge construction over waterways will occur where roadway widening, new road construction, railroad crossings, or pedestrian walk paths need to be constructed over existing or future drainage ways. Bridge construction generally consists of the sub-structure and the super-structure. The sub-structure is composed of abutments, piers, and girders. Piers are located in waterways and generally consist of several drilled shafts. The super-structure is composed of the bridge girders and deck.
A new 500-foot (153-meter) bridge section takes about 6 to 9 months to construct. Crew sizes for a span of this size range from 25 to 30 at any one time. Staging areas are approved by the City and usually are in currently disturbed locations and out of water drainage areas.

Bridge Construction Over Transportation Ways

Bridge construction over transportation ways consists of grade-separated intersections, overpasses and underpasses. This construction generally is more complex than bridges over waterways due to factors such as traffic control and pedestrian safety. Bridge construction generally consists of the sub-structure and the super-structure. The sub-structure is composed of abutments and piers. The super-structure is composed of the bridge girders and deck. Construction generally takes about 9 to
12 months to complete. Crew sizes range from 25 to 30 at any one time. Staging areas are approved by the City and usually are in currently disturbed locations and away from traffic and pedestrian activities.

Bank Protection and Channel Modification

Bank protection consists of riverbank stabilization along the edges of rivers and washes to mitigate against soil erosion and scour. This consists of, but is not limited to, soil stabilization by compaction and soil-cement stabilized earth. Bank protection can also be accomplished with the use of geotextiles, gabions, riprap lined banks, and shotcrete protection. In environmentally sensitive areas, such as those covered by the HCP, bank protection is restricted to low impact methods by the City’s Wash Ordinance, which strictly limits any use of concrete or shotcrete. Construction durations for bank protection varies according to the method implemented, and can take from 1 to 9 months for a
1-mile (1.6-kilometer) section. Crew sizes range from 5 to 15 at any given time. Staging areas will be approved by the City and generally will be at locations that are disturbed and out of the wash or river area.

Channel Creation

Locations and number of channels are unknown, but the channels will be located in existing agriculture or other disturbed areas.

2.2.2 Public Water Infrastructure Installation

The development of public water infrastructure on City-owned lands in Avra Valley and the Southlands will occur over the next 50 years. The Avra Valley planning sub-area includes lands acquired by Tucson Water Department for water rights. Many of these lands are former agriculture lands and have been highly degraded. The Avra Valley holdings are also the primary location for future water resources development project by Tucson Water Department. Tucson Water Department is currently in the process of updating its 50-year water resources plan (City Water Plan). Many of the future activities in Avra Valley are dependent on decisions still to be made by the community and the City’s Mayor and Council regarding enhanced treatment for mineral content (salinity control) and the utilization of effluent. While the individual projects that will be required to implement these future decisions are not known with specificity, the listed activities below encompasses the range of projects anticipated.

The following list of activities is intended to be as inclusive as possible to accommodate future water resources development projects required to meet water demand associated with future urban growth; it includes construction and maintenance of typical water facilities including:

1. Wells

2. Treatment Plants

3. Reservoirs

4. Boosters

5. Transmission Mains

6. Pipelines

7. Recharge Basins

8. Evaporation Ponds

9. Wetlands

10. Flood Control projects such as berms and basins

11. Administrative buildings and facilities

12. Maintenance Yards

13. Access roads to all facilities

The Plan would allow for the possibility of brine disposal and related landfill activities encompassing up to 5,600 acres (2,266 hectares) in addition to the necessary pipelines to transport brine. The Plan would also allow for the possibility of expansion of existing and planned recharge facilities encompassing up to 1,000 acres (405 hectares). In addition, the Plan would allow for the possibility of a 100-acre (40.5 hectares) Treatment Plant and a well-field encompassing up to 600 acres
(243 hectares). Additional recovery wells associated with recharge facilities may be required and would be anticipated to encompass up to 100 by 100 feet (30.5 by 30.5 meter) sites. Pipelines conveying recovered, treated or brine water will be required with determination of location and length dependent on future decisions of the community and Mayor and Council.

All construction projects are subject to Tucson Water Department’s Design Standards and Tucson Water Department’s Standard Specifications and Details (Construction Standards) as supplemented by the Pima County (County-City) Public Improvements Standard Specifications. Surface restoration is required on all construction projects including revegetation or mitigation of plants protected under the City Native Plant Protection Ordinance (NPPO).

2.2.3 Parks and Trails

The City of Tucson plans to develop several parks and trails as recreational opportunities in the Southlands and Santa Cruz River planning sub-areas. Neighborhood parks and trails are the responsibility of individual developers and are included in the impact footprint of private residential developments.
The following is a description of the parks and trails planned in the Southlands and Santa Cruz River planning sub-areas by the City during the next 50 years.

Parks

Parks and recreation facilities range from small, turf-covered neighborhood parks, to large regional parks that provide a wide range of uses, and may include both developed and undisturbed areas. Approximately 1,500 acres (607 hectares) of Metro and Regional parks would be developed in the Southlands planning sub-area during the permit period. Metro parks range in size from 40 to
200 acres (16 to 81 hectares), depending upon population and service area characteristics. Regional parks exceed 200 acres (81 hectares) in size. Metro and Regional parks are primarily designed to accommodate urban populations with a full range of active and passive recreational opportunities, including lighted athletic fields, outdoor performance areas, hiking and biking trails and facilities, as well as turf areas for play, relaxation and picnicking. Natural, undisturbed areas can also be included as components within these parks. For HCP purposes, Metro and Regional parks should be considered as 100 percent disturbance.

Trails

The Urban Pathways element of the Tucson Parks and Recreation Strategic Service Plan creates a classification system depicting the character and diversity of the trails system in Tucson.
The following four classifications have been established. These are standard configurations, but they can be enhanced depending on the situation. Generally, divided urban pathways, urban pathways and potentially urban trails will feature restrooms, drinking fountains and storage buildings at 2 to 5 mile (3.2 to 8 kilometer) intervals. Such facilities can also be expected along the Pima County River Park Pathway system.

• The Divided Urban Pathway (50 feet [15 meters] of right-of-way) is the largest paved pathway within the City. This pathway consists of a separated, minimum 12 to 15 feet (3.6 to 4.6 meters), paved pathway and a minimum 8 to 10 feet (2.4 to 3 meters), stabilized, decomposed granite trail separated by landscaping. The path and trail have a minimum of 6 to 8 feet (1.8 to 2.4 meters) of landscaping on either side, however, the side furthest from the road or wash has a preferred minimum landscape buffer of 10 feet (3 meters). A Landscape buffer width should be developed to the maximum extent feasible, depending on the situation. Pathways and trails should meander whenever possible while still preserving sight lines.

• Similar to the Divided Urban Pathway, the Urban Pathway (minimum 24 feet [7.3 meter] of right-of-way) is a minimum 12 to 15 feet (3.6 to 4.6 meters) paved, shared-use trail shared by pedestrians and cyclists. The guidelines allocate a minimum of 6 to 8 feet (1.8 to
2.4 meters) of landscaping on both sides of the path. The landscape area adjacent to a wash is optional depending on right-of-way availability. This classification utilizes existing pathways to make important connections to park facilities, but in many cases recommends that the pathway be upgraded to 6 to 8 feet (1.8 to 2.4 meters) standard.

• The Urban Trail (minimum 13 feet [4 meters] of right-of-way) is a minimum 8 to 10 feet
(2.4 to 3 meters) wide natural surface earthen trail with 5 feet (1.5 meters) of landscaping on one or both sides of the trail. A mountain bike could be used on these trails; however, they are designed primarily for pedestrian users. Urban Trails are intended for recreational use and to connect smaller neighborhood parks to larger community and metro parks via a pathway network. They may also provide connections to trail systems of other jurisdictions.

• The final City classification is the Enhanced Sidewalk (approximately 20 feet [6.1 meters]), which uses Mountain Avenue as a model. This classification is for urban areas where there is no watercourse or insufficient right-of-way or corridor to develop a separate trail.
The enhanced sidewalk is a 6 to 12 feet (1.8 to 3.6 meters), concrete sidewalk with a minimum of 5 feet (1.5 meters) of landscaping on both sides. The sidewalk is for pedestrian use. Cyclists are accommodated by the existing bike routes; or when possible install a 3 feet (0.9 meters) buffer between the travel and bike lane. The buffer lane, as implemented on Mountain Avenue, is designed to visually separate the bike and vehicular lanes with a distinct material such as brick or bominite.

The River Park Pathway system is under development by Pima County. As the name suggests, the system consists of trails along the regions major waterways. Depending upon the outcome of the Lee Moore Wash Basin Management Study, there may be an opportunity to develop one or more River Park Pathways across the Southlands planning sub-area. The River trail consists of a 100-feet
(30.5 meters) right-of-way with a separated, minimum 12 to 15 feet (3.6 to 4.6 meters), paved pathway and a minimum 8 to 10 feet (3 meters), stabilized, decomposed granite trail separated by a minimum of 5 feet (1.5 meters) of landscape buffer. The path and trail have a minimum of 15 to
40 feet (4.6 to 12.2 meters) of landscape buffer on either side. Landscape buffer width should be developed to the maximum extent feasible, depending on the situation. Pathways and trails should meander whenever possible while still preserving sight lines.

2.2.4 Regional Storm Water Facilities

Pima County is in the process of initiating a basin management study for the Lee Moore Watershed, located southeast of the City of Tucson core. This watershed extends from the Santa Rita Mountains north and west to the Santa Cruz River, and includes much of the City HCP Southlands planning sub-area. Sub-watersheds within the Lee Moore watershed include those associated with Gunnery Range Wash, Sycamore Canyon Wash, Fagan Wash, Petty Ranch Wash, Flato Wash, Summit Wash, and Franco Wash. The Fagan and Petty Ranch Washes comprise the priority conservation area in the Southlands as identified through the City's HCP planning process (see Section 5 and Figure 5.1-1).

The purpose of the Lee Moore study is to provide guidance and regulatory authority to discourage development in flood prone areas by managing encroachments into regional floodplains. The study will identify flood and erosion hazard areas and drainage problems, and identify cost-effective solutions to alleviate or manage floodwater in the Lee Moore Watershed. After an assessment of existing hydrologic and hydraulic conditions, floodplain delineations, future land use analysis, and the identification and evaluation of alternative flood and erosion hazard remediation solutions, a set of preliminary “Rules of Development” will be created to manage development in the Lee Moore Watershed.

Alternatives will include a “No Action” alternative and alternatives that take both a structural and non-structural approach to managing flood risks. The "Rules of Development" document will provide details of what can and cannot be constructed, ways to alleviate the impacts of construction on the watershed, and how to protect structures from flooding and erosion. Adoption of these development guidelines by all municipalities within the watershed is desired by Pima County.

Participants in the study include the Pima County Flood Control District, Pima County Department of Transportation, Pima County Planning and Development, Pima Association of Governments, Tucson Department of Urban Planning and Design, Tucson Department of Transportation, ASLD, Town of Sahuarita, and Union Pacific Railroad.

Once the study has been initiated, which is anticipated for early 2006, the existing conditions analysis is scheduled to be completed within 9 months; the floodplain delineations, future land use analysis, and the identification and evaluation of alternative flood and erosion hazard remediation solutions will take another 9 months; and a set of preliminary “Rules of Development” are anticipated for completion 2 years after the study begins.

It is anticipated that some of these regional flood management structures and activities will be located within the City HCP planning area and may be constructed and/or maintained by the City. The outcomes of the Lee Moore study will be used to refine the anticipated flood management activities to be covered under the City HCP.

2.2.5 Maintenance Activities

This HCP covers operation and maintenance activities carried out by the City. The City conducts maintenance activities on roads, water infrastructure and parks and trails as described below.

Road Maintenance

Road maintenance activities are required to keep roads and associated structures, such as rights-of-way, landscaping, signs, bridges, grade control structures, and bank protection in good repair and working condition. Covered maintenance activities include the following:

• Inspection;

• Pavement rehabilitation;

• Right-of-way maintenance, including sign installation, landscaping maintenance, trash pick-up, and grading of road shoulders; and

• Structure maintenance.

Each of these activities is described below.

Inspection Activities

The City continuously inspects its road system to determine where and when maintenance is required.

Pavement Rehabilitation

Pavement rehabilitation is limited to the existing roadbed, and includes sealing of cracks on the road surface, filling in potholes, and patching degraded portions of the road.

Right-of-Way Maintenance

The right-of-way for roads is generally 80 to 150 feet (24.4 to 45.7 meters) wide, depending on whether it is a major or minor route. Freeway segments may require 300 feet (91.5 meters) of right-of-way width. The rights-of-way may consist of a clear zone, signage and landscaping. Maintenance activities include sign installation, landscaping maintenance, trash pick-up, and grading of road shoulders.

Structure Maintenance

Aside from periodic maintenance of the road surface, regular activities are not undertaken to modify existing bridge pylons or other major infrastructure. Bridges rarely require structural repairs and may be replaced rather than repaired. No bridge repair is anticipated outside of the bridge replacement projects discussed in Section 2.2

Drainage System Maintenance

Drainage system maintenance includes vegetation management in public drainage channels and is performed under approved guidelines, which address precautionary measures to protect natural vegetation and habitat. Drainage system maintenance activity also includes debris removal from public drainage channels, erosion control and repair in public drainage channels, and cleaning and repair of public closed conduit. This includes maintenance activities within City owned parks and golf courses,

Park and Trail Maintenance

Maintenance activities required for the parks system include keeping existing irrigation, drainage, and related facilities in good repair and working condition. Minor improvements undertaken during the normal process of performing these activities also are included.

Other covered maintenance activities include management of open space and trail maintenance.
Open space within park areas is maintained through irrigation, routine mowing of grass, and trash collection. Weeds in grassy open spaces of parks are controlled with herbicides. Maintenance of trails includes routine trash patrol along trail routes, sign mending, and repair of vandalized sites.
Trail maintenance will occur on regional trails within the study areas.

Water Infrastructure Maintenance

Pipeline and Valve Maintenance

Maintenance activities associated with pipelines and valves include valve exercising, marking blue-stakes for main locations, routine hydrant and main flushing, chlorine residual and bacteriological testing, and routine inspections to ensure that the existing facilities are in good repair and in working condition. One or 2 person crews with light trucks, 1-ton or less, generally perform these activities quarterly.

Pipeline and Valve Repairs

Pipeline and valve repairs include repairing mainline breaks and the replacement of leaking and/or failing valves. The ground disturbance associated with these activities generally is limited by easement width or within public rights-of-way. These activities are not regularly scheduled and typically are performed on an emergency basis. Construction crews usually consist of 2 to 10 people. Project duration typically is less than one week but can be much longer in extreme cases. Repair or replacement can include aboveground installation of temporary pipelines to maintain service.

2.2.6 Santa Cruz River Restoration

The USACE, with local sponsorship from the City, Pima County and the Town of Marana, is leading an effort to study the feasibility of restoring vegetation along an approximately 29.5-mile
(47.5 kilometers) section of the Santa Cruz River, including the entire 14.5-mile (23.3-kilometer) reach within the City. The three restoration feasibility studies, each of which is in a different stage of the planning process, are, from upstream to downstream, Paseo de las Iglesias, El Rio Medio and Tres Rios de Norte. Paseo de las Iglesias is furthest along in its planning, with a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Feasibility Report issued in July 2005. Tres Rios de Norte will have a Draft EIS released early in 2006. El Rio Medio was kicked off in the summer of 2005, and is currently in the initial planning stages.

2.2.6.1 Paseo de las Iglesias

Paseo de las Iglesias, which encompasses approximately 5,005 acres (2,025 hectares), involves an approximately 7-mile (11.3 kilometer) stretch of the upstream Santa Cruz River between Los Reales Road and West Congress Road. Preliminary feasibility studies conducted by USACE identified various planning elements including habitat restoration, water supply and flood control, and recreation. The width of the project area varies between 0.5 and 1.6 miles (0.8 to 2.6 kilometers). Pima County Regional Flood Control District is the local sponsor of this project. Vegetation cover types within this restoration project area are provided in Table 2.2-2.

Table 2.2-2. Paseo de las Inglesias Cover Types and Acreages within the City of Tucson

Plant Association/Land Cover Type

Acres

Agriculture / Developed / Water / Bare Ground

448.5

Sonoran Desertscrub

558.8

Sonoran Interior Strand

241.3

Total Acreage

1,248.6

2.2.6.2 El Rio Medio

El Rio Medio involves an approximately 4.5-mile (7.2-kilometer) stretch of the Santa Cruz River, between Congress Street and Prince Road. The USACE El Rio Medio Feasibility Study is currently ongoing. The study will consider the following:(1) alternative means of structural stabilization to the river's banks between Prince Road (upstream) and West Congress Street (downstream);
(2) opportunities to reclaim biotic properties of the Santa Cruz River near downtown Tucson, and elements of the riparian community on its banks; (3) modifications of upland surfaces adjacent to the incised banks to promote growth of appropriate native upland vegetation; (4) designs for recreational facilities that would feature prehistoric elements, historic properties, and biological traits of this portion of the Santa Cruz River; (5) integration of these recreational considerations into the Juan Bautista de Anza National Trail; and (6) the efficacy of recharging subsurface aquifers by means of water released into the river bottom downstream of West Congress Street. Pima County Flood Control District and City of Tucson are local sponsors of this project. Vegetation cover types within this restoration project area are provided in Table 2.2-3.

Table 2.2-3. El Rio Medio Cover Types and Acreages within the City of Tucson

Plant Association/Land Cover Type

Acres

Agriculture / Developed / Water / Bare Ground

2091.5

Sonoran Desertscrub

226.1

Sonoran Interior Strand

201.1

Total Acreage

2,518.7

2.2.6.3 Tres Rios de Norte

Tres Rios de Norte involves approximately 19,803 acres (8,014 hectares) along an 18-mile
(29 kilometer) stretch of the Santa Cruz River between Prince Road and Sanders Road. Preliminary feasibility studies conducted by the USACE identify various issues including environmental degradation, habitat restoration, water supply and flood control issues, and recreation. The width of the project area varies between 2.2 and 6.9 miles (3.5 to 11.1 kilometers). Pima County Flood Control District, Town of Marana, and the City are local sponsors of this project. Vegetation cover types within this restoration project area are provided in Table 2.2-4.

Table 2.2-4. Tres Rios del Nortes Cover Types and Acreages within the City of Tucson

Plant Association/Land Cover Type

Acres

Agriculture / Developed / Water / Bare Ground

895.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sonoran Deciduous Swamp and Riparian Scrub

21.5

Sonoran Desertscrub

282.5

Sonoran Interior Strand

67.1

Sonoran Riparian and Oases Forests

40.9

Total Acreage

1,307.5

2.3 Activities Not Covered by the Permit

Activities carried out or authorized by public or private parties other than the City are not covered by this HCP and resulting Permit unless explicitly identified above. With respect to waters downstream and land outside of the City, covered activities will be specifically restricted to those impacts resulting from City operations and facilities on species using those sub-areas and covered in this HCP.

Activities within the Permit Area that are not covered by this HCP include those occurring on: (1) any properties that have received development permits in the form of an approved preliminary plat at the time the Permit is issued, and (2) properties that have completed or are in the process of completing a Section 7 or Section 10 consultation with USFWS at the time the Permit is issued.

Construction and maintenance of grade control structures and bank protection maintenance is performed by the Pima County Regional Flood Control District and therefore is not covered.

Covered activities do not include the operation and maintenance of facilities used to collect, treat, or release water or treated effluent. Activities that are not covered also include the impacts of increased, decreased, or otherwise altered water quality or availability except for those impacts directly resulting from activities carried out, or authorized, by the City and having all required federal permits.

2.4 Implementation of the HCP

Any incidental take of covered species that results from activities associated with the implementation of the mitigation measures and monitoring program associated with the HCP is covered under this HCP. These covered activities include management of habitat that is acquired, created, or restored in implementing the HCP as well as required surveys and monitoring activities. Mitigation, management and monitoring activities implemented by qualified third parties on behalf of the City for these purposes also are covered.